Saturday, September 29, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day Six

David "Dave" Lance Arneson, creator of table top role-playing, and Blackmoor, creator and co-author of Dungeons & Dragons, has a birthday anniversary in a few days. Born October 1st, 1947 he revolutionized the gaming work with the creation of the table top role-playing game.

Rob Kuntz wrote the first of several books to come exploring this topic. Here is a review that covers the book titled  by  in a review located at Cedgewick's Reviews > Dave Arneson's True Genius. I will post here a quote from the lengthy detailed review that constitutes by far the best review of the book to date.
The first essay deals with the unique system qualities of Arneson’s creation, Blackmoor, which Arneson conceived of and developed more than a year prior to revealing it to Gygax. Here Kuntz’s genuine excitement and respect for what Arneson achieved is readily apparent, as he reveals 26 distinct leaps in game design that he has identified from Arneson’s work. Most notably is Arneson’s genius in merging two seemingly disparate concepts: the open system of play as exemplified by children imagining together, and the closed system of play as exemplified by a typical board game. Kuntz then moves on to demonstrate, through analysis of Gygax’s own shifting statements as well as through recounting several key events, how TSR abandoned a basic tenet of Arneson’s philosophy: that of the gamemaster as the absolute creator of his own highly individualized game. In its place, Gygax instituted a new and far less creative role for the gamemaster as simply the administrator of standardized and structured rules (AD&D and the boxed sets of increasing complexity), premade game worlds (Greyhawk and Mystara) and even premade adventures (modules). Kuntz points out that Gygax instituted this shift at TSR to further monetize Arneson’s concept while privately adhering to Arneson’s original philosophy at his own gaming table.
I highly recommend that you read the entire review and that you buy the book in order to gain a more complete picture of the genius of Dave Arneson.

Or just go play some Dungeons & Dragons, but take off the training wheels and run your own adventure and make the game your own. Arneson won't mind, he'll be happy for you! 

Yes, I know I talked about the same review twice and that is because it is that good, go read the whole thing and then buy the book. :)

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